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A Guide to Washington, D.C., Materials

American Memory: Written Materials

Description of a visit to Washington, treating of the public, patriotic feelings which pervade the citizens--the public buildings ... with a stricture on Miss Fanny Kemble's Journal ... concluded with a general view of the present course of the administration
Description of a visit to Washington, treating of the public, patriotic feelings which pervade the citizens--the public buildings ... with a stricture on Miss Fanny Kemble's Journal ... concluded with a general view of the present course of the administration ...
Kenney, Lucy.
[n.p., 1835]

Written materials in American Memory include books, government documents, manuscripts, and sheet music. Examples of written materials related to Washington, D.C. are provided for each collection listed below. Search on the terms “District of Columbia” or “Washington, D.C.” to locate additional information within these American Memory collections.

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents.

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907

The collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. It includes copies of speeches that were given in the District of Columbia and copies of reports of organizations located in Washington, D.C.

Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress

This collection contains correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs documenting Bell's invention of the telephone and his involvement in the first telephone company, his family life, his interest in the education of the deaf, and his aeronautical and other scientific research. It includes letters written when Alexander Graham Bell lived in the District of Columbia and began working with the deaf community.

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

This collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics. Browse the collection by subject to locate more than 100 items for the District of Columbia.

American Notes: Travels in America, 1750-1920

This collection comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920.

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. The collection includes 1,236 items printed in the District of Columbia.

The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920

The American Variety Stage is a multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings. The collection includes playbills from Washington, D.C., theaters including the Academy of Music, the New National Theater, the Columbia Theater, and Chase’s Theater.

The Capital Bay and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925

The collection includes first-person narratives, early histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures, and books of photographs that capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century. The collection contains twenty-nine items on the subject of the District of Columbia.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875.

The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925

The hundred texts selected specifically for The Church in the Southern Black Community are primarily books, together with a few pamphlets and journal articles.

First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920

This collection documents the American South from the viewpoint of Southerners. The collection includes narratives of Washington, D.C., relating to the history of politics, social life and customs, and the Civil War.

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909

The collection includes 396 pamphlets from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, published from 1822 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics.

George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799

The complete George Washington Papers collection from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 65,000 documents.

Search tip: Search the phrase Commissioners of the District of Columbia for letters from George Washington to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia.

Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920

The Historic American Sheet Music collection presents 3,042 pieces of sheet music. The collection includes "The Washington Waddle. 1911."

The James Madison Papers, 1723-1836

The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 12,000 items captured in some 72,000 digital images.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Books

The collection includes primary documents of American history reflecting the broad domains of social and political history, education, psychology, sociology, religion, and science and technology as they developed throughout the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras (1850-77).

Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910

This collection portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional literature, local histories, ethnographic and antiquarian texts, colonial archival documents, and other works drawn from the Library of Congress's General Collections and Rare Books and Special Collections Division. The collection includes the book Crusader and Feminist: letters of Jane Grey Swisshelm, 1858-1865, which describes her experiences in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War.

Poet at Work: Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Biggs Harned Walt Whitman Collection

The Thomas B. Harned collection of the Walt Whitman papers spans the period 1842 to 1937, with most of the items dated from 1855 to 1892. Although this collection is not searchable, notebook 94 includes Whitman’s experiences as a nurse at the Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Washington.

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The Slave Code for the District of Columbia is included in the special presentation.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents.

Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865

Horatio Nelson Taft's diary consists of three manuscript volumes, totaling 1,240 digital images, that document daily life in Washington, D. C., through the eyes of Taft, an examiner for the U. S. Patent Office. Transcriptions accompany the digital images.

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  December 5, 2013
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